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Scout's Surgery

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Dear friends and family and readers of my writings,

On Wednseday, April 9th, I returned home from dinner to find my beagle, Scout, acting out of sorts. Scout lives her life wide-open, and never misses a chance to meet me at the door to demand food or tennis balls or cuddles. But that Wednesday night, she was lethargic and droopy and unwilling to eat dinner. Within five minutes, I realized that her breathing was also labored and her heart was beating way too fast.

She spent Wednesday night in the hospital at North Georgia Veterinary Specialists, and after a series of specialized diagnostics, the doctors couldn't find anything abnormal -- except for her lethargy, loss of appetite, and fever. The following day she visited her own vet, Dr. Qullian at Oakwood, Georgia's Family Pet Clinic. He's familiar enough with her antics to know when something's wrong, even when the tests continued to show that her blood and bones and organs were OK. He suggested that I take her to BluePearl Veterinary Specialists in Sandy Srpings, GA.

Things went from worrisome to dangerous very quickly. Over the next few days, Scout's condition worsened and she began spending most of her time in ICU. Her fever wouldn't break and she continued to be unable to eat. She didn't respond to antibiotics. Yesterday, fluid began to surround her lungs and then one of the lobes of her lungs began filling up with that fluid. The doctors told me the fluid contained bacteria and that she was in danger of going septic, of having the bacteria enter her bloodstream, at which point there was nothing they could do for her.

Before I left, the doctor said, "I'm sorry, but do you feel like you've had a chance to say goodbye to Scout?"

I had held her and petted her and kissed her and scratched her ears so gently in the hospital. I read her some books. I sang her some songs. But no, I could not accept that I had said goodbye to her.

The doctors inserted chest tubes and a feeding tube and kept her on oxygen for most of the night last night and all day today. And finally they feel like they have made a breakthrough. One of the lobes of Scout's lungs is filled with fluid due to an unknown reason, but adding the chest tubes and containing the fluid to one lung seems to have quelled her fever, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Now, she needs surgery. The doctor wants to remove one of the lobes of her lungs. The truth is that they don't know for sure if she can make it through the surgery or if removing the lung will stop the infection, but the doctor is confident that this is the only chance to really save Scout's life. Plenty of dogs and humans come through lung lobe-removal surgery and live normal, active, happy lives. There's a decent chance it is the answer for Scout as well.

Unfortunately, the medical bills have become too much and I can't afford to go through with the surgery unless I can raise around $7,500.

Any tiny bit you can donate will go a long way toward helping me try to help one of the most important girls in my whole world. Every dollar donated will go toward Scout's hospital bills. If there's any left over, I will donate it to PetSmart Charities. Every person who donates, no matter how small the amount, will receive a a handwritten letter of thanks from me, a follow and shout-out on Twitter, and a whole heart full of undying love.

There's a chance the surgery won't help. But there's also a chance that it will. I can't let her go until I know.

Any help at all will make you mine and Scout's hero.

Yours most sincerely,
Heather Anne


  • Lisa B.
    • $50 
    • 10 yrs


Heather Anne Hogan
Braselton, GA

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